The leader of a Christian youth ministry that holds assemblies in public schools has returned to the scene of threats against his moral message with a presentation of faith and hope.
“The point was proven before we got out of the vehicle to speak,” said Bradlee Dean, the leader of the band Junkyard Prophet and the You Can Run But You Cannot Hide ministry.
As WND reported in March, Dean and his band were accused of “gay bashing” in an appearance at a Dunkerton, Iowa, public school and warned by the fire chief that he would close the town’s roads to keep the band from returning.
But after support from the non-profit legal advocacy group Liberty Counsel, Dean returned to Dunkerton and spoke at the city’s library during the Dunkerton Days festival.
“We were given a victory by God’s providential hand and the example was given to this generation, and anyone else, how they can receive the same victory for truth,” Dean told WND.
“As I travel this awesome God-given nation I come up with the same conclusion every event I am part of,” Dean said. “The majority of Americans share the conservative Judeo-Christian values I fight for. We can win this culture war when we fight together. It is leadership we are lacking in our cause, someone willing to risk reputation to set the precedent that our silent majority is waiting to join.”
The controversy erupted March 8 when Junkyard Prophet made a presentation at Dunkerton High School. The message included challenges to students to make the right decisions about life and their futures. They also warned about the damaging impact of the homosexual lifestyle and abortion.
Dean had told WND the controversy really developed when media started reporting on the band’s visit. He contends that he and his band performed, presented their message of making good choices, visited with students and then left without hearing any concerns.
He said complaints, like that from a mother, were based on distortions. The mother said the band “told these kids that anyone who was gay was going to die at the age of 42.”
In fact, Jake MacAulay, a spokesman for the band, had said that the average age of death of a homosexual male is 42 years.
See excerpts of his presentation:
For his return to Dunkerton, Dean reserved a room used for public meetings at the Dunkerton City Library.
The city then tried to cancel the event but reversed its position when Liberty Counsel wrote the city. The group pointed out that the law did not allow officials to censor someone based on their opinions or perspective.
“Religious speech is not a First Amendment orphan – it is just as protected as any other speech,” said Richard Mast, an attorney with Liberty Counsel, in a statement. “When a government entity creates a forum ostensibly available to all, it can’t suddenly retract the welcome mat because it disagrees with the speaker’s message.”
Mast said what Dunkerton had done was “a clear-cut case of viewpoint discrimination.”
At the public library, Dean said: “You know what the problem is with the younger generation? They don’t know the price paid for their freedoms. That’s the problem with our country.”
He told the story of a black slave girl up for bidding during the nation’s early history.
“Her delicate features destined her to be a sexual object for the appetite of her soon-to-be owner,” he related. “One man stood firm as he outbid every other buyer to a point he paid far above the expected price.
“The young slave was then dragged to the man and he was handed the chains. … The man did something really weird that day. He took the keys out of his pocket, he took her chains, unlocked her chains and threw them on the ground. He looked at her and said, ‘I bought you to set you free.'”
That, Dean said, is what Jesus did for sinners. That, he continued, is what America’s war veterans have done for American citizens.
The library was filled to capacity with students, parents and even city officials, Dean’s ministry reported.
Dean’s March presentation to Dunkerton students was captured on several videos. The first includes information about homosexuality:
Another video shows the band addressing abortion:
Dean, who has appeared at hundreds of forums with his message of making the right choices, told WND that he had appeared at the same school years earlier and was invited back.
Controversy is not new for Dean. WND also reported Dean’s dispute with Rachel Maddow and MSNBC. Maddow was served with a lawsuit alleging defamation for her references to Dean’s You Can Run But You Cannot Hide ministry.
Most recently, Dean requested that the case be moved to federal court, and the judge in the District of Columbia court demanded that he pay Maddow’s defense attorney fees before she would allow that.
Her statements disparaging Dean prompted Dean’s attorney to file a request with the court that the judge be removed from the case.